The vast majority of defense sector jobs require some level of security clearance. That process ensures that those handling sensitive or classified information will do so properly and that individuals with authorized access to such materials and information aren’t likely a threat to national security. As a result, it’s critical to ensure your security clearance isn’t denied.
While some reasons for a denial are potentially out of your direct control, there are specific actions that increase your risk of having your security clearance denied. As a result, avoiding them or correcting them before applying is essential. Here are some situations you want to avoid.
Financial Risk Factors
Many security clearance applications are denied due to specific financial concerns. For example, large quantities of debt that are potentially unmanageable or unpaid taxes are both considered red flags. Usually, that’s because the federal government is concerned those monetary strains could make a defense employee more susceptible to coercion if there’s a financial reward. Similarly, they may fear the defense professional would leverage their access to classified information to receive payments from other parties.
In this situation, it’s best to clear up the financial issues before applying for a defense job. Tackle as much debt as possible to bring the total into manageable territory. If you have unpaid taxes, work with the IRS to get them addressed. Finally, run your credit report to look for issues that may need correcting or handling, such as debts in collections you might not be aware of currently.
Misconduct During the Process
Once you apply for a security clearance, conducting yourself in a professional manner is essential. Cooperating with investigators is a must. Similarly, remaining open and honest matters, as lies, ambiguity, or half-truths don’t reflect well on you.
In many ways, the security clearance investigation process may seem invasive, particularly to those new to the defense industry. Background checks in the civilian world are far less in-depth. However, it’s critical to understand the risk the Department of Defense (DOD) takes with every new hire and the reason why extra precautions are necessary. By keeping that mindset, it’s much easier to accept the process for what it is, allowing you to remain calm and professional throughout.
Criminal Activity and Drug Use
While neither criminal activity nor drug use is inherently disqualifying in all cases, they’re always red flags. Whether it leads to a security clearance denial depends on the nature of the activity, how recently it occurred, whether there’s a pattern of such behavior, and other factors. However, it’s always best if you don’t have any of those issues on your record.
It’s important to note that while marijuana use is legal in many states, it isn’t legal – just decriminalized – in the eyes of the federal government. As a result, cannabis use is potentially problematic, too. As a result, abstaining is usually the better choice if you’re interested in working for the DOD.
Ultimately, it’s always best to avoid situations that could lead to you getting your security clearance denied, making it more likely that you can land a position. Are you ready for a new defense job? Connect with the Staffing Resource Group to find exceptional opportunities quickly. Contact us to learn more about our services today.